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Connecticut Garden Journal: Coming Together In Community Gardens

Jun 15, 2017

Although I grew up in Waterbury with a big veggie garden in the backyard, my first foray into gardening as an adult was in a community garden. 

Community gardens are usually places where you can rent, for a minimal fee, a small plot of land to garden and they've been around since the late 1800s.

Mostly they were started during economic downturns as a way for people to grow their own food. Community gardens reached their height during World War II with the Victory Gardens. More than 18 million families around the country grew 40 percent of our vegetables in home and community gardens in 1944.

And community gardens continue to grow more than just food.

Community gardens revitalize neighborhoods, reduce crime and graffiti, and help bring communities together. They're a meeting ground for a diversity of people in the community to share ethnic food and gardening ideas with their neighbors.

I've always found that no matter what the religious, political and ethnic persuasion, we can all meet in the garden.

If you live where you don't have room to garden, contact your town's parks and recreation office or ctcommunitygardening.org to find a community garden in your area. There may still be plots available and it's not too late to start gardening this year.

Hartford has been a leader in community gardening, and on July 27 its hosting the national meeting of the American Community Gardening Association. There will be talks, tours, and get-togethers.

You'll feel the vibrancy of this movement and see some pretty cool community gardens in the area. Check out acga.org for more information.

Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I'll be talking about delphiniums. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.